Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Bill 2012: Nature of Amendments and Evaluation

Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Amendment Bill 2012: Nature of Amendments and Evaluation

Question - Official amendments in the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Bill 2012 have recently been passed. Examine the nature of the amendments and evaluate them.

A. Nature of Amendments

The following salient amendments have been made to the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act 1986:

• Employment of child aged less than 14 years is prohibited in all occupations

• Processes and age of prohibition of employment is linked to Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009

• An exception: This is when the child helps his family or family enterprises other than hazardous occupations or processes established in the Schedule

• Exception is made for children to assist family enterprises after school hours and/or during vacations

• Another exception is where the child is employed as an artist in the entertainment industry(films/tv/entertainments or sports excepting the circus) provided work does not impact school education

• New definition of adolescent has been introduced in the CLPR Act

• Employment of adolescents aged 14 to 18 has been eliminated in hazardous occupations and processes. This will protect adolescents from employment not suited to their age

• Stringent punishment has been proposed for the violation of the Act to act as a deterrent:

• First offence of employing child/adolescent in contravention of the Act: Penalty is imprisonment for term not less than 6 months but may extend to 2 years

• Fine of minimum of INR 20,000 which may extend to INR 50,000

• Both fine and jail term may also be implemented

• Second or subsequent offence of employing child or adolescence in violation of this act will invoke minimum imprisonment of 1 year and maximum of 3 years

• Employing a child or adolescent in violation of the act has been made a cognizable offence to act as a deterrent
• Within the Principal Act, same punishment is provided for parents/guardians for enabling a child to work in violation of the act. But an exception is that the first commission of this type of offence involves no penalty. However, a subsequent violation of the act involves a penalty of a fine up to INR 10,000

• The Child and Adolescent Labour Rehabilitation Fund has been constituted under this act for rehab of child/adolescent rescued

B. Evaluation


• Act strikes a balance between need of education for the child and the true picture of the socio-economic condition and social fabric of the nation

• The Bill has abolished child labour completely. This is a welcome move

• It has also prevented the employment of children in hazardous occupations

• The Bill also prescribes stiff penalties and fines for violation of the act

• It provides an exception only in times where socio-economic realities of India have to be considered


• Child rights activists have criticised the Bill as allowing children to work under certain circumstances

• It is feared the girl child will be denied education and put to work using the provisions of this Bill

• Also, the Bill does not prescribe any punishment for parents for the first time they commit the offence of pushing their children into employment

• Children must be given incentives to study after school as well rather than be involved in laborious work

• CLPR Act is not aligned with the RTE Act

• It is also not in conformity with the ILO conventions 138 and 182 providing for minimum age of entry into employment and prohibition of persons below the age of 18

Facts and Stats

• Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act 1986 prevents employment of children in 18 occupations and 65 processes

• It also regulates the working of children in remaining occupations and processes

• Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 gives direction to the state to ensure free, mandatory education to children between the ages of 6 to 14 years
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